No. 14 Gymnastics Posts Season-High 196.650 on Senior Night; Wurm Wins All-Around
Arizona posted its highest team score in nearly three years and set two Top 10 team scores in individaul events. UA fell to Penn State, but defeated Kentucky and Texas Women's University.
TUCSON, Ariz. The No. 14 Arizona women’s gymnastics team posted its best score in nearly three years, but fell to No. 16 Penn State on Friday night before a Senior Night crowd of 1,115 in McKale Center. The Wildcats picked up victories over Kentucky and Texas Women’s University.
Arizona set season highs on beam and floor, but its team total of 196.650, the highest total since March 20, 2004, placed second behind the Nittany Lions’ 196.825, their best score since 2001, but ahead of Kentucky (195.600) and TWU (190.525).
“It’s certainly a bittersweet feeling right now,” head coach Bill Ryden said following the meet. “We feel great about how we performed, but Penn State was really, really good tonight.”
Arizona began on vault, posting a 48.775. Sophomore Bree Workman led all UA gymnasts with a 9.800. Brittney Morgan tallied a 9.775, while juniors Karin Wurm and Rachelle Silberg added 9.750s. Miranda Russell and Jamie Holton each received 9.700s.
On floor, the Nittany Lions asserted themselves quickly. Brandi Personett’s 9.875 led PSU to a 49.050, to take a 0.275-point advantage over the host Wildcats.
“We were not our usuall selves on vault tonight,” Ryden added. “We left the door open for Penn State early, and they are the type of team that takes advantage of that.”
On bars, the Wildcats totaled a 49.050. Wurm was UA’s top scorer, notching a 9.875 to place fourth in the event. Briana Bergeson earned a new career high with a 9.850, while Morgan turned in a 9.800. Russell also set a new career high with a 9.800.
Even with a solid second rotation on bars, UA fell to third place overall behind PSU and surprising Kentucky. The visiting Wildcats posted the third-highest score in their program’s history on floor (49.300) to sneak ahead of the host Wildcats by .050 points.
Arizona began to make up ground in the third rotation, as it recorded the second highest team beam score in program history, a 49.400. Classmates Morgan and Russell started off the stellar rotation with identical career high marks of 9.900. Wurm also turned in career in the event, tallying a 9.875. After a Bergeson fall, Holton got UA back on track, earning a 9.875. Hicks capped the rotation with a 9.850.
Penn State did not relinquish its lead on bars, however. Katie Perret led the Nittany Lions to a new season high team score (49.375) with a meet-best 9.975. Through three rotations, PSU led UA by 0.350 points. Kentucky fell to third, while TWU remained in fourth.
In the final rotation, Arizona totaled the seventh-best score in program history on floor with a 49.425. Morgan and Workman started the rotation, receiving 9.800s. Russell then notched a 9.850, while Wurm followed with a career-high matching 9.900. In the fifth spot, Hicks turned in a career high 9.925. Holton anchored the rotation, and in her final regular season home meet as a Wildcat, turned in a career high 9.950.
Despite the comeback bid by the Wildcats, PSU closed the meet with a season-high on the balance beam, recording a 49.250, giving the Nittany Lions a 0.175-point margin of victory.
“For the second week in a row, we got better as the meet went on,” Ryden said. “We improved on each event, which is something I am very pleased with.”
Wurm led all gymnasts by matching her career high all-around total of 39.400. PSU’s Personett placed second with a 39.375, while Morgan, the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week, captured third place with a 39.275. UA’s Russell placed fourth with a career high 39.250.
Following the meet, Arizona honored seniors Aubrey Kelly and Jamie Holton for their contributions and dedication to the program throughout their careers.
“Aubrey and Jamie have meant so much to me and this program,” Ryden said of the seniors. “They have both taken very different paths to get to where they are today.”
“Jamie is an unbelievable story,” Ryden said of the 5-5 Phoenix, Ariz., native. “She came in here as a walk-on and made progress. It was baby steps with her. But she kept progressing and we started to see some potential with her. She really started to blossom last year and has carried it over to this year where she is one of the best gymnasts in the conference. She has so much confidence now.”
|Senior Associate Director of Athletics Rocky LaRose (left) with Heidi Hornbeek's parents, Kathy and David.|
“Aubrey will certainly go down as one of the top gymnasts to ever wear an Arizona leotard,” Ryden said of the 5-2 senior from Burlington, Ontario. “She may not have had the opportunities for one reason or another to put up some of the numbers others have here, but she is clearly one of the elite gymnasts we have ever had in this program. She has been one of the top gymnasts in the country over the last four years.”
Prior to the meet, the University of Arizona Department of Intercollegiate Athletics retired the leotard of former UA legend Heidi Hornbeek.
Arizona (11-3) will close out regular season competition next week on Friday, March 23, as it travels to Provo, Utah, to compete against Brigham Young and Southern Utah. The following week, UA will travel to Tempe, Ariz., to compete at the Pac-10 Championships on March 31.
- Arizona’s team score of 196.650 is the highest team score for a UA squad since notching a 196.775 at the Pac-10 Championships on March 20, 2004.
- Arizona’s beam score of 49.400 ranks second in program history. The only higher score is a 49.500 set on March 14, 2003, against Oklahoma.
- UA’s team floor mark of 49.425 ties for seventh all-time in program history.
- Jamie Holton’s career-high 9.950 on floor ties for fifth-place in event history at UA with former Wildcat Katie Johnson.
- Danielle Hicks’ career-high 9.925 on floor ties for seventh-best in program history with five other gymnasts (Maureen Kealey, Cami Banholzer, Mary Reiss, Heather Straccia and Andi McCabe).
- Karin Wurm matched her career high on floor with a 9.900, a mark that is tied for 12th-best in UA history. She also set a new career high on beam with a 9.875, surpassing her previous high of 9.825 set last season.
- Brittney Morgan and Miranda Russell each earned career-high 9.900s on beam. They are in a 14-way tie for ninth-best in school history.
- Russell set a new career high in the all-around, totaling a 39.250. She also broke her previous career high of 9.775 on bars with a 9.800.
- Holton matched her career high on beam with a 9.875.
- Briana Bergeson set a new career high on bars, tallying 9.850.
- Arizona alumni in attendance and recognized following the meet included: Jessamyn Salter, Andi McCabe, Amanda Goins, Mary Reiss, Kara Fry, Kristin McDermott, Lisha Stone, Jamie Duce, Alli Hay and Diane Monti.
1. Penn State 196.825
2. Arizona 196.650
3. Kentucky 195.600
4. Texas Women’s 190.525
UA on vault: 48.775
TWU on bars: 47.000
UK on beam: 48.550
PSU on floor: 49.050
UA on bars: 49.050; Running total: 97.825
TWU on beam: 47.425; Running total: 94.425
UK on floor: 49.300; Running total: 97.850
PSU on vault: 49.150; Running total: 98.200
UA on beam: 49.400; Running total: 147.225
TWU on floor: 48.275; Running total: 142.700
UK on vault: 49.150; Running total: 147.000
PSU on bars: 49.375; Running total: 147.575
UA on floor: 49.425; Final total: 196.650
TWU on vault: 47.825; Final total: 190.525
UK on bars: 48.600; Final total: 195.600
PSU on beam: 49.250; Final total: 196.825
Individual Results by Event
1. Krystle Cook (UK) 9.925
2. Rosie Smith (PSU) 9.875
3. Brandi Personett (PSU) 9.850
3. Hillary Ferguson (UK) 9.850
1. Katie Perret (PSU) 9.975
2. Krystle Cook (UK) 9.950
3. Alex Brockway (PSU) 9.900
4. Karin Wurm (UA) 9.875
1. Brittney Morgan (UA) 9.900
1. Miranda Russell (UA) 9.900
1. Stephanie Sullivan (PSU) 9.900
4. Karin Wurm (UA) 9.875
4. Jamie Holton (UA) 9.875
4. Heather Hite (UK) 9.875
1. Jamie Holton (UA) 9.950
1. Heather Hite (UK) 9.950
3. Danielle Hicks (UA) 9.925
4. Karin Wurm (UA) 9.900
4. Hillary Ferguson (UK) 9.900
1. Karin Wurm (UA) 39.400
2. Brandi Personett (PSU) 39.375
3. Brittney Morgan (UA) 39.275
4. Miranda Russell (UA) 39.250